Hong Kong-based unit of Harvest Fund Management reportedly filed a bid for the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Friday, January 26. The bid by the arm of the Chinese asset manager appeared on Monday, January 29, publication by Tencent News.
The bid by the Hong Kong subsidiary of the Chinese-based asset manager to the local financial regulator portrays Hong Kong’s readiness to approve the initial batch of the spot crypto ETFs soon.
Friday’s publication by Tencent News confirmed that Harvest is eyeing entry into the spot Bitcoin ETFs ring upon the approval of its filing by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
Harvest Fund Confident of Spot Bitcoin ETF
Harvest is optimistic about unveiling the inaugural spot Bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong after the Lunar New Year Holiday, which is on February 10.
Efforts to seek confirmation from either Harvest or the SFC turned futile, with neither party responding to the request by press time.
The disclosure by Tencent News affirms the pronouncement by crypto exchange Hashkey chief operating executive Livio Weng, who earlier this month claimed that nearly ten fund companies were considering unveiling spot crypto ETFs in Hong Kong.
Harvest Fund replicates the move by Hong Kong-headquartered Venture Smart Financial Holdings Ltd (VSFG) that, according to Bloomberg’s January 19 publication, reportedly announced a move to unveil a spot Bitcoin ETF by March this year.
The bid submitted by Harvest Fund is unsurprising, given that Hong Kong regulators had earlier urged applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs following their approval in the US.
Harvest Fund is leveraging the crypto-friendly branch extended by Hong Kong as it is becoming a global hub for digital assets. Recently, the city has eased existing restrictions that impeded crypto adoption and investment in the administrative region. Also, Hong Kong has enacted a crypto-specific framework and licensure requirements for virtual assets service providers (VASP).
Hong Kong Heighten Interest in Stablecoins
Hong Kong has, in a recent move, heightened efforts to develop Stablecoin-specific rules. Bloomberg publication on January 29 indicates that the initiative coincides with several entities such as Harvest Global Investments, VSFG, and RD Technologies expressing interest in participating in the stablecoin-related trials.
The Bloomberg article reported that the trio is in talks with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) regarding the city’s stablecoin trials. The city’s de facto central bank announced plans to launch the stablecoin trials.
The VSFG stablecoin head, Sean Lee, revealed that the company anticipates the stablecoin sandbox to start soon, within the first quarter. Besides, the VSFG senior advisor is optimistic that the stablecoin sandbox duration will last till mid-2024.
Lee assured that VSFG is committed to supporting the Hong Kong stab to become a global virtual assets hub. The firm will leverage the dedicated unit IDA that will bid for the sandbox inclusion. IDA is set to tap the consortium partners to demonstrate the potential harbored in programmable digital money while satisfying prudential requirements.
The HKMA spokesperson indicated that the sandbox arrangement seeks fiat-reference stablecoin (FRS) issuers possessing genuine interest and developing reasonable plans for FRS issuance in the city.
HKMA Set to Unveil Stablecoin Sandbox
The executive added that HKMA is mulling sandbox unveiling and will reveal relevant details soon. By press time, RD Technologies and Harvest were yet to respond to the request for comment on the stablecoin sandbox initiative.
The HKMA had last month revealed in its joint consultation paper published in partnership with Financial Services and Treasury Bureau that all stablecoin issuers should seek a license from the authorities. The HKMA reiterated the requirement for issuing stablecoin referencing fiat currency value within Hong Kong.
The HKMA chief executive, Eddie Yue, illustrated that it was likely that stablecoins would emerge as the interface for the digital asset market and traditional finance.
Yue indicated that the HKMA anticipates integration between the real economy and digitized payment when stablecoins emerge as the preferred payment option for the public. The HKMA chief considers that the likelihood of stablecoin proving its equivalent to the pegged value would make it more critical.